Justis Huni has revealed how complications with his COVID-19 jab almost threw his preparations for Wednesday night’s Australian heavyweight title showdown with Christian Tsoye into disarray.
Huni says extreme soreness in his right arm after being vaccinated left him so far behind the eight-ball that he was forced to endure an extraordinary 30 rounds of sparring in just three days last week to catch up.
Such a gruelling workload, especially so close to a fight, is unheard of but Huni said it was essential to get him back on track.
“It’s been busy but it’s what I had to do to be prepared for this fight on Wednesday,” the 22-year-old told AAP on Monday.
“It’s full on – 30 rounds in three days. Normally we wouldn’t do so many rounds of sparring in a week, and a week out, but we had to get the sparring in because we had a bit of a setback in camp.
“It was getting closer and we can’t go into a fight unprepared so that’s what we had to do to get in the best condition.”
Huni said the jab made his arm feel “like bruised or corked”.
“Like when someone punches you in the arm and it felt like that for a couple of days,” he said.
“Then the pain on the outside of the arm came good and I started getting pains under my arm pit.
“I didn’t stop training. I just couldn’t use that arm for like three days.”
In addition to the soreness, Huni said he felt so sick after the jab that he was unable to board a flight from Brisbane to Sydney last week despite already being at the airport.
“We went home and I pretty much did whatever we could to get rid of it as fast as we could,” he said.
“I went home and curled up in bed, took all the meds that I needed to take – cold and flu and what-have you – and I woke up on Monday morning feel heaps better and we carried on.
“I’m back to peak health and back to normal, probably even better now. There’s no excuses. That’s why we pushed ourselves so hard last week so we didn’t have any excuses.
“I’m ready to go and I can’t wait for Wednesday.”
The Olympic gold medal hopeful is cramming his fight in against Tsoye to prepare for his blockbuster next month with Paul Gallen.